Texas Clouds and Sunsets With a Few Life Lessons Too

Well, my previous little phone took some pretty decent photos back in the day. They were a little fuzzy but definitely captured the moment well.  This one was from back in 2010 but I can still remember driving with my dad as if it were last weekend.  I since retired that little phone to a box in my room at the farm and have been snapping photos with my iPhone 4 ever since.

One thing I learned about when home during 2010 was family. Or we can call it farmily — the family farm, the family on the farm, the family with a farm.  My farmily will always be there for me.  When you’re 24, are two classes short of graduating, and you run out of money for college, the only thing left to do is to come home and work.  While it would be a great fulltime job, we simply don’t have a fulltime farm. We have a family farm where I someday hope to bring my grandkids for weekend excursions.

(As you can see in my “About” page, however, I did graduate in Dec. of 2011 after saving up enough money from the fulltime job I acquired in January of 2011 to pay for my classes.  So, the story has a happy ending!)

But, while I was home, I also learned to slow down, to appreciate life, and to love the people around me even more.  From January to May of 2010, I took one college course at a community college in Houston. This introduced me to a lot of good friends who I am still in contact with.  Once they learned I lived on a farm, they would ask for fresh veggies every week, and I would happily oblige by bringing baggies full of cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes.  I always had a wariness of community college, I am sad to admit, but after attending there, I have come to know this:

1)  Community colleges have some of the best, shiniest, jewels of professors.

They seek refuge in the community colleges where they can really TEACH.  They can counsel their students. They can tutor in peace.  They can give advice, explain concepts to the fullest, challenge their students, and not have to worry about taking care of research, annoying distractions, or other such things.  My professor was a retired Exxon physicist with a hilarious sense of humor.  I learned more in that one class than I ever did in physics at A&M.  I also made an A.  I will forever remember him as the best teacher ever.

Of course I took the same professor for part 2.  Again, same friends, same studying partners, same veggies, and another A.  I had never baked cupcakes for a class before, and you better believe I took cupcakes at least once a month to my class for exams.

2)  Working in a convenience store SUCKS.

I needed money to cover my few bills I had every month, and in the summer nothing really grows. Nobody was really buying my peppers.  So, in October I picked up the old on-campus job I had and a friend offered to let me have the office in his house on the weekends. So, I’d come in on Friday, go to work, then work Saturday also, Sunday, and Monday. Monday afternoon I would drive home and sleep, then go to class Tue, relax Wed, and go to class Thursday. It sucked a lot, but I had money.  On top of that, I drove 1.5 hours Friday, and 1.5 hours Monday to get back home.

I learned to love driving and appreciate how much my daddy did for his family by driving 1.5 hours to and from Houston every day, five days a week, for twenty years, to keep a cushy, salaried, benefited job for all of us.  He could have taken the easy route and raised us in the city but he didn’t, and for that I am thankful.

But yes, working in a convenience store, on a campus, nonetheless, is depressing. Students throw their purchases on the counter, oblivious to all manners.  They spill things and don’t clean them up. They think they’re entitled to the world and shouldn’t have to work for it.  They’re bratty. They’re learning nothing at home.  They are terrible, horrific little creatures!  Occasionally there would be a sweet student, but most of them aren’t worth the money their parents pay to send them to school.  I have much, MUCH respect for anyone who works in a convenience store, because people treat you like you’re there for their convenience and you aren’t worth shit.

I try to always buy a piece of candy for the person behind the counter.  Discount be damned, it is my kind gesture that I know what they have to deal with, day in and day out. You will never see me rush the cashier, and I will give dirty looks to anyone who does.

While I hated every single minute of it, I did make two more friends that I am still in contact with.

And finally, 2010 made me appreciate the details in the world around me.

In January of 2011, I had a lucky break, and through all the skills my parents taught me about manners, respect, patience, and Microsoft Office (thanks daddy) I managed to snag a cushy office job in sales and contracts with a great company. Salary and benefits, enough to cover an apartment, all my bills, food, a little entertainment, gas, Christmas presents, and the occasional vacation.  I am working on a portfolio thanks to the occasional marketing slick that I get to design.  Someday I will likely be somewhere else, but until then, I am more than happy right here in life with my friends, family, and handsome boyfriend.  I don’t want that “high-profile” job if it means leaving behind my sweetheart. I’m perfectly fine right here.

Thanks to 2010, I learned a lot of life lessons that could only be learned by being tossed out into the world and ousted from my comfort zone.

So, let me show you a few more pictures of all the detail that I recognized in 2010.

Check out these wackadoo cloud formations. There were rows and rows and rows of clouds stretching back as far as I could see.

A beautiful sunset.  When I took two college classes in 2010, I stayed at home on the farm. I rode in with my dad every Tuesday and Thursday to Houston and took my college physics course. On  the way there and the way back (but mostly the way home because I’d sleep every morning) I would take pictures to capture the pretty sunsets. The land is so flat around Houston and it makes for such colorful displays.

And no matter what, always remember to (Courtesy of Sweet Leaf Tea):

And appreciate the small things in life, because somewhere, someone has it worse than you.

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About Lilybell

A sassy and classy gal in her late twenties balancing work, boyfriend, fitness, gardening, friends, fun, and sleep. Has a great love for all things pink and shiny, along with all things green, fragrant, and outdoors. Frequently documents her love for the above with her iPhone 4. Wishes she could spend every weekend out at the family farm with everyone she loves.
This entry was posted in 2010, Clouds, Photos, Sunsets and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Texas Clouds and Sunsets With a Few Life Lessons Too

  1. rose says:

    Grannyisms and wackadoo…I know these words 🙂 Heartfelt post on the importance of family and home.

    • Lilybell says:

      Ahhh yes I love the words of wisdom on the inside of the teacaps…I still have a few of my favorites!

      Another one is “Different strokes for different folks” and that one made me giggle…so true!

      My boss says wackadoo all the time and I love it, so I have adopted it =)

      Thank you for stopping by =) Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Texas really does have big skies. Beautiful too. I love your images. Is it not nice when kids have manners? It was nice 2011 turned around and you got a decent job. Family is important and sometimes we forget that now a days. Always good to have honest and genuine reminders.

  3. Lissa Rabon says:

    Great post…nuthin like being a waitress to give you a new appreciation of what they do for their customers as well. Great perspective…

  4. sheila365 says:

    Hi Lillybell, I really enjoyed reading your post. And I love the photos by the way.

    I like what you said about community college professors…. I’m glad you found one that made an impact on you.

    I love that you are in your twenties and recounting all the things in your life that are shaping who you are and will be. I remember that time in my life. Somehow, I blinked and I’m now in my 40s.

    Enjoy and celebrate. And keep going back to the farm. 🙂

    • Lilybell says:

      Thank you for visiting 🙂 one of the things I think about is how I will look back on this time when I am in my forties, will I think, “Oh, my mother was right!”

      Oh heck my mother was already right about so many things! If she ever reads this she will laugh and say “I told you so…”.

  5. orchidmiami says:

    Great post! Beautiful pictures as you always do, especially the butterfly! So heartfelt. I can completely relate – I know exactly where you are coming from! Plus definitely looking back at what shapes my life today were in those struggling years. So important to realize that your family will always be there for you, since there are those with no recourse and others with family they take for granted. One thing I’ve noticed also, during my struggling years I lived out in the Redlands of South Florida and we lived next to 40 acres of tomatoes and another 80 acres of squash and rotating crops, out in the country. Gorgeous and it was then that I really appreciated nature and its beauty. Thanks for sharing this story, touched my heart!

  6. edshunnybunny says:

    It sounds like you learned more in a year than some people learned in a lifetime, and all were good lessons to learn 🙂 I’m glad your story had a happy ending, too! Your phone captured some amazing photos, by the way!

    • Lilybell says:

      I do look back fondly at 2010 for what it taught me…some of those lessons were priceless and could only be learned firsthand. There were many nights when I went and cried in my car all the way home. While I did not like my job, I was still a good employee!

      I learned to appreciate home (the farm) a lot more and now when I go home it is a wonderful treat. It is so hard to get young people to understand what they will be missing when they get older. Sometimes I feel very wise and other times I still feel like a kid! But I suppose I am a little of both.

      Thank you! I liked my little phone a lot. It is at home tucked in a box should I be an unfortunate klutz and drop my iPhone. Having a phone made of glass certainly helps me take great care of it!

  7. Love the Texas sky! Beautiful photos.

Be Sassy.

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